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Reloading Berger Bullets


Why should I care about groups for a hunting rifle????

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Unread 07-17-2012, 07:34 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Boise, ID
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Re: Why should I care about groups for a hunting rifle????

kcebej stated it well. In the real world there's misses or something other than what you wanted. I sat next to a guy that took 5 steady shots at a standing deer because he thought it was over 400 yds instead of something over 200. This was before range finders and quick adjust turrets. After the first or second miss, we would determine if it was low or high and and change the point of aim incrementally if the animal was calm. You can't figure it out if the bullets are spraying. You might also not hit an animal well enough and need to thread the needle for follow up shots. Dang trees are suicidal that way. Everyone wants those perfect broadside shots on a standing animal but my experience is that you make the most of whatever your given or pass up the impossible. The last elk I killed ran right past me and I shot him from the hip. I hit a tree first. The entry wound was about 4 inches. I couldn't figure out why the big hole was on the near side! That's long range hunting with tree bark. Anyway, one shot, one kill is something to strive for but actual circumstances are not predetermined. Besides, many times, your laying down the money for something that should perform better than a slingshot even if you don't think you'll need that kind of consistency.
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Unread 07-17-2012, 08:26 PM
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Location: West Central Idaho
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Re: Why should I care about groups for a hunting rifle????

Originally Posted by Joe King View Post
Dennis I think the same way, follow up shots are needed because the 1st did not do it's intended job. Bad shot, bullet failure, ect. but I also agree that the 1st is the most important shot period. My personal opinion is that 99.999999% of the time that first shot is missed the fault lies with the nut pullin the trigger.

kcebcj I've let the buck and 2 bulls of a lifetime go because I didn't feel that I could make the shot for 3 different reasons, I did that because I learned that lesson the hard way, and all three where well in my theoretical range. To be fair though I do strive for a load that will put the first and subsequent shot in the same place.
Hey Joe..... I agree with you 100% If you feel the shot is just crappie don't take it. I was referring to a animal that is within ones skill range and confident with the shot and for unknown reasons the first two shots went astray.

The largest bull I have taken was put down on the forth shot. I had two shots at him standing uphill broadside about 200 yards. After the second he took off through the timber. Have no idea where the third shot went maybe a limb don't know but he hit a small opening and I nailed him. Went and looked where he was standing at the start and there was a large patch of a kind of willow type brush that is common here about a 1/4 inch in diameter with the leaves off and about 3 feet high just below where he was. I concluded that the first two shots were deflected by the brush that at that range I could not see.

So in my simple world the rifle wants to be just as accurate on the 4th shot as it was on the first

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. Sir Winston Churchill.

Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom. Einstein
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Unread 07-18-2012, 12:07 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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Re: Why should I care about groups for a hunting rifle????

[QUOTE=DennisPA;674816] For a hunting rifle why should I care where the 3,4,5.... shot goes. I only care about my first shot and maybe may second shot.

Sometimes I have had 5 tags in my pocket.
I'd hate to quit early.
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Unread 07-18-2012, 09:53 AM
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Location: Allen, TX
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Re: Why should I care about groups for a hunting rifle????

Great points.

Most of the time, it's the first shot that counts for hunting.

Hence, knowing your cold bore POI is important.

There are times when multiple shots are required. e.g. varmints, hogs, etc

We often spend too much time in search of a tiny 100yd group from a bench rest position. It's a good idea to practice hunting conditions. i.e. various ranges, improvised positions, cold bore, wind, temp, etc...

The bottom line is that neither one shot nor one group is sufficient to have confidence in the rifle, load, or shooter. The more cold bore samples, follow ups, groups, distances, and conditions you have, the better.

The same is true for practicing with your range finder if you're really into LRH. I work at it with my 1200 CRF and ranging whitetails in hunting conditions past 600 yds gets increasingly difficult.

-- richard
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Unread 07-18-2012, 11:24 AM
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Re: Why should I care about groups for a hunting rifle????

Originally Posted by DennisPA View Post
Ever since I started shooting Iíve had drilled into me that I want the smallest group possible. 3 shot, 5 shot, 10 shot whatever. People throwing out stats like 1/2 MOA, 1/3 MOA, I can cover X shots with X coin. For a hunting rifle why should I care where the 3,4,5.... shot goes. I only care about my first shot and maybe may second shot.
I'm as guilty of this as anyone else I have stacks of targets with center to center distances measured and documented. Then used this data to make my component choices powder, brass, primer ect.
I was looking at said stack of targets and started thinking how cool would it be to be able to lay a stack of the same targets on top of each other and see all my first shots line up and second shots line up. In other words a grouping of just cold bore shots and follow up second shots. Then that got me thinking that powder, bullet ect. that I thought ďIíll never use that again itís junkĒ or ďI just canít get that whatever to group in my gunĒ. What if all the first shots were smack on top of each other and the second was a predicable upper right or whatever. Now the 3,4,5 shots could look like they came out of a 12ga and I wouldnít care.
Hereís my thought I have a stack of 100 new targets. Shoot one recipe in say the upper left of three targets. A second recipe in the upper right and so on. All fouled cold bore shots with a semi-quick second shot. Then overlay the three targets and compare the first shots of each group. Keep in mind I am only talking about hunting not competition thatís a whole other process. Thoughts???????

I dont worry about shots 4 and 5. Three is enough for me.....if I havent "kilt" it in 3....I dont deserve it. Dont shoot beyond the equipment ability ( the guy pressing the trigger is included) and if in doubt...work for a better , cleaner shot.

I'll never shoot 3 into one single hole...but do like to see a 3 leafed clover with the 3 shots touching.....
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Unread 07-18-2012, 11:51 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Dillsburg,PA
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Re: Why should I care about groups for a hunting rifle????

Sully you have hit on my point. Are we choosing components based on that sweet clover leaf. Where the first shot could be any of those three shots. Now take that out to long range and we could be talking the difference in a clean kill, a wounding shot or a complete miss. My thought is that instead of working for that clover leaf. Working for consistent first shot placement with a predictable second shot.
A question came up about my hunting experience. Large game next to nothing other than a couple fun but unproductive white tale hunts. Most of my hunting is varmint and small predator. At least in my area I very rarely get a second shot. Thanks to all that have contributed this thought experiment, great discussion.
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Unread 07-18-2012, 02:19 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 69
Re: Why should I care about groups for a hunting rifle????

I've spent a lot of time trying to analyze my groups, and learn my rifles at various ranges. I don't have as much time to practice anymore, but when I do, I always leave a clean target at 200yds and before I pack up and go home I let the gun cool down to ambient and take the best shot I can at a 6" marker. If I hit it dead center, I'm very happy and I go home and sleep well.

I have friends that are concerned with nothing but grouping. They show me their targets with marvelous groups 3" high and 4" to the right, are extremely proud and have made no adjustments. In my small world that's 3 misses.
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